Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ice Woman

This month Minnie is exploring the alphabet by digging out the unusual, often unexplained and alternative way of thinking. Stories of creatures, places and mysteries that have been passed down to us through centuries tease our imagination, live in our dreams and dare us to explore the impossible. Join Minnie each day as she discovers something unusual in the alphabet.
"My plumbing froze once, couldn't pee for days, got me some good medicine for that!"

On a bitter cold morning in Minnesota on December 20, 1980, a man opened his back door to find his 19-year-old neighbor, Jean Hilliard, lying in the snow frozen solid.
The night before, Jean’s car had ran off the road and gotten stuck.  Trying desperately to reach her neighbor’s house in a temperature of twenty-five degrees below zero, she never made it to the door.

At the small local hospital, the nursing staff and doctors were stunned. They said she was so cold; it was like reaching into a freezer, like picking out a frozen stick of wood.  Her face wore a death mask, and the heart monitor she was hooked up to read nothing more than a death rhythm. Severely frostbitten, none of her limbs would bend or move.
The odds against Jean were enormous. But two hours later, Jean suddenly went into violent convulsions.  It was a good sign, but the danger was far from over.  Doctors worried that even if Jean regained consciousness she might have serious brain damage.  And the frostbite was so severe that amputating Jean’s legs seemed inevitable.  Then Jean regained consciousness, and later on in an interview she said:

“I woke up in the hospital about noon. Things were kind of hazy and people were asking me questions as to who I am and things like that.  And I couldn’t figure out why they were talking to me that way or why they were treating me that way. Of course, I knew these people. Of course I knew who I was. I mean, what’s the big deal?”

Jeans sister couldn’t believe her eyes.
“When Jeanie first came to and we knew that she was going to live, it was an extreme relief. But what was most miraculous to me was watching her legs recovering. Every time we lifted the sheet, we could see the white just moving down. The black was disappearing little by little, and to me, I still think that was just unbelievable.”

Jean spent 49 days in the hospital.  In defiance of everything her doctors knew about frostbite, she recovered completely.  


Sally said...

What an amazing story. They often say that truth is stranger than fiction. Interesting post.

farawayeyes said...

Ah, miracles.

Bex said...

Yes - what a lovely story! Agree with Sally, truth is stranger than fiction.
Keep the great stories coming!


Lynn Proctor said...

what an amazing miracle!

Rena said...

Wow. Crazy story.

Matthew MacNish said...

Amazing. Absolutely fascinating!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, now that is a true miracle!

Susan Kane said...

There is always a miracle that surprises doctors. This was definitely that.

50 foot QE said...

This is a good indication of how resilient the human body is and how the mysteries of life continue to baffle us know it alls.

I really enjoy this kind of story.


Melissa Bradley said...

Whoa...That's incredibly amazing. You never know the power of the human spirit and body. How's the Challenge going? Sorry I've been MIA. Getting ready to move this Saturday.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Siv .. this is an amazing story - fascinating read ..

1980 - when she was 18 .. thankfully she was that young ... cheers Hilary